Linkin Park, R. Kelly and More Than 200 Musicians Give Support to 'Blurred Lines' Appeal


Linkin Park, R. Kelly and More Than 200 Musicians Give Support to 'Blurred Lines' Appeal


Earth, Wind and Fire, Train, Fall Out Boy, Tears for Fears, Hans Zimmer and Jennifer Hudson say if the 'Blurred Lines' verdict is allowed to stand, it will be 'very dangerous to the music community.'
More than 200 musicians have given their support to an appeal brief on "Blurred Lines" verdict filed by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I.. Linkin Park and R. Kelly were among 212 artists who filed an amicus brief with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, August 30, seeking to overturn the $5.3 million final judgment in copyright infringement against Marvin Gaye's estate.

Also joining the amicus brief filing were Train, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Black Crowes, Fall Out Boy, Tool, Tears for Fears, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, John Oates of Hall & Oates, Hans Zimmer, Jennifer Hudson, Jean-Baptiste, Evan Bogart and Danger Mouse.

"The verdict in this case threatens to punish songwriters for creating new music that is inspired by prior works," read the 212 artists' brief authored by Ed McPherson, "All music shares inspiration from prior musical works, especially within a particular musical genre. By eliminating any meaningful standard for drawing the line between permissible inspiration and unlawful copying, the judgment is certain to stifle creativity and impede the creative process. The law should provide clearer rules so that songwriters can know when the line is crossed, or at least where the line is."

According to the musicians, the case is "unique" because "Blurred Lines" and "Got to Give It Up" by Marvin "do not have similar melodies; the two songs do not even share a single melodic phrase." The artists suspect that the jury perceived similarity in the overall "feel" or "groove," which harks backs to the very first filing in the lawsuit.

The brief points out that Marvin himself was heavily influenced by other artists like Frank Sinatra, Smokey Robinson, Nat King Cole and James Brown.

"Such a result, if allowed to stand, is very dangerous to the music community, is certain to stifle future creativity, and ultimately does a disservice to past songwriters as well," the musicians added, "One can only imagine what our music would have sounded like if David Bowie would have been afraid to draw from Shirley Bassie, or if The Beatles would have been afraid to draw from Chuck Berry, or if Elton John would have been afraid to draw from the Beatles, or if Elvis Presley would have been afraid to draw from his many influences."


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